According to reports out of Lumpkin County, a deputy fired shots at a suspected female burglar after she attempted to flee the scene and allegedly ran over the officer's foot.
The officer responded to a 911 call in Dahlonega and discovered Valerie Barron breaking into the evidence. She then resisted arrest, got into her vehicle, and attempted to drive away. She actually managed to make it back to her home in White County. Police arrested Barron at her home later that same evening on charges of aggravated assault, obstruction, criminal trespass, and more.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will outline the offense of obstruction in today's post as it is frequently charged alongside DUI in Georgia.
Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer in Georgia
Obstruction in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law by a division between misdemeanor and felony obstruction in the following statute.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this Code section, a person who knowingly and willfully obstructs or hinders any law enforcement officer in the lawful discharge of his official duties is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(b) Whoever knowingly and willfully resists, obstructs, or opposes any law enforcement officer, prison guard, correctional officer, probation supervisor, parole supervisor, or conservation ranger in the lawful discharge of his official duties by offering or doing violence to the person of such officer or legally authorized person is guilty of a felony and shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.
Obstruction charges usually stem from a person running or resisting arrest when confronted by police officers. If an officer has a legitimate reason for stopping or questioning you, you cannot, by law, hinder his or her investigation.
As I mentioned above, obstruction of a law enforcement officer in Georgia is divided into a misdemeanor version as well as a felony version. The misdemeanor version of obstruction is described in (a) of the statute above. If convicted of misdemeanor obstruction, the penalty can include a 12 month jail sentence, up to $1,000 in fines, community service, anger management classes as well as anything else allowed under misdemeanor sentencing laws of Georgia.
The felony version of obstruction is described (b) of the statute above. If convicted of felony obstruction, the penalty can result in a sentence of between 1 and 5 years in prison. It can also be punished with community service and anger management classes. The fines can be in the thousands of dollars. Obstruction is considered a felony when the obstruction constitutes a threat of violence to the officer. Under the obstruction statute, a law enforcement officer is considered a probation officer, parole officer, park ranger, or prison guard in addition to a regular police officer.
Since obstruction can be a charged as a felony with a potential 5 year prison sentence, it should be taken very seriously. A Georgia DUI Attorney can help you today. Our lawyers often get obstruction charges dropped or reduced to a less serious offense.
Contact us today.
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